North American 3PL and technology provider, Transplace, has announced improvements to the customs portal it provides for shippers moving goods through the US-Mexico border, including those in the automotive industry. According to the company the system automates and standardises the interaction between shippers, importers and customs, for better communication and visibility. Using the portal can save shippers at least three hours on crossing times, it said.

Mexico exported $36.2 billion worth of automotive parts to the US in 2013, and imported $21.1 billion, according to the US International Trade Commission.

The Transplace system now automates the data input of each product line, removing the need for manual entry. It has a centralised parts database for multi-port operations, allowing importers to add technical and use specifications for each part number, and it provides for multimodal capability to clear air, ocean or land shipments through multiple ports of entry.

"Compliance with customs laws, rules and regulations is critical when transporting goods to and from Mexico, but it is often a complex, time-consuming process that can have a significant impact on the supply chain," said Jose Minarro, customs brokerage director for Transplace. "Using the Customs Portal, importers can interact with the shipper, broker, and multiple departments within their own organisation through a single platform, enabling easier communication and visibility and ensuring the integrity of all data transmitted to Mexican Customs."

According to Transplace, the enhanced system also provides tactical and strategic operations and finance reporting, including shipments in process, cleared shipments, KPIs by mode of transport, customs fees, brokerage charges, and duties/taxes paid. All of the reports contain filters that allow the user access to specific shipment or part number details if needed.